It seems people will bet their hard earned money on anything, whether it be Rage Against the Machine beating The X Factor to the top of the charts at Christmas or if stars will cry during their Oscar acceptance speeches.
Among the most popular forms of gambling, after the National Lottery, are betting on horse races and playing the slot machines but off-track and off-course gambling is becoming more and more the rage with people betting on virtually anything that moves. Evan Katz’ directorial debut Cheap Thrills takes gambling to the very limits and to celebrate the film’s release we look at a few of the weird and wonderful wagers the human race has come up with over the decades.
Gambler and professional poker player Johnny Moss was drinking at a bar one day when he overheard a chap bragging that he hadn’t lost a fight in his life. Moss’ friends offered him 15/1 odds that he couldn’t knock the gloating man out. Being the gambler he was, Moss swung for the man but failed miserably and got various bones broken in the attempt. Moss looks back at the wager with a sense of humour saying “15/1 was too good to pass up.”
World Series of Poker champion Huck Seed accepted a $50,000 wager where he had to stay stood in the sea, up to his neck, for all of 18 hours. With so much green on the line he waded out into the murky waters of dignity only to last a mere three hours.
RED OR DEAD
In perhaps the most audacious bet ever, in 2004, professional gambler Ashley Revell sold all of his worldly possessions and headed to Las Vegas with $135,000 in his pocket. No sooner had he landed he headed straight to the nearest roulette wheel and put every last penny on red. As blind luck would have it, the wheel hit red 7 doubling Revell’s money. According to the BBC he described this insane risk as the "purest bet you can do. I'm not married and I haven't got kids. It's almost like my last chance to go mad."
YOU BET YOUR BOOBIES!
One of the weirdest wagers we came across for this article was one accepted by Brian Zembic in 1998. Zembic, a poker, blackjack and backgammon hotshot agreed, for the princely sum of $100,000, to get whopping great 36C breast implants and keep them for a year. He won the bet and clearly must have grown attached to them as he hasn’t got rid of them to this day.
A STROLL IN THE PARK
It is claimed that in 1907 Harry Bensley accepted a wager for the handsome amount of £21,000. Said wager purportedly stipulated that Bensley had to push a pram around the world, taking only a single pair of underpants with him and adorning a metal helmet. On his travels he could never reveal his identity, had to find himself a wife, and had to sell postcards depicting himself in his helmet to cover the costs of his journey. Tales of his adventures eventually reached home turf such as the time he got arrested in London for selling postcards without a license. Thankfully the magistrate respected the rules of the bet and allowed Bensley to be tried as ‘The Man in the Iron Mask’ and he got off with a fine. After that the man in the iron mask never hit the news again.
Let us know what the craziest thing is that you have ever bet on. Cheap Thrills is out tomorrow, 6 June. You can read our review right here and we’ll leave you with the trailer below.